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Why Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood looks to the private sector to boost the economy

egypt economy

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has drawn up a strongly free-market economic plan and pledges to move fast to negotiate a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if it forms a government after this month's presidential election.

June 7, 2012 1:37 by



FOREIGN INVESTMENT

 

Like Mursi, Shafiq says he would encourage foreign investment but he indicates he would upholdEgypt’s tradition of broad state intervention in areas from minimum wages to guaranteed prices for farmers.

 

Shafiq said he would keep the Egyptian pound’s exchange rate stable “with total determination”. The pound has plumbed seven-year lows in the wake of the uprising and uncertainty about who will be the country’s next president but has been kept in check by central bank support.

 

Mursi talks of giving the central bank a mandate to have “a fair valuation of the pound against other currencies.”

 

Like Shafiq, Shater talks of lifting subsidies on industry but not, inEgypt’s dire current economic straits, on the wide base of population that uses gasoline and diesel.

 

The Brotherhood says it will also seek to create an Islamic finance industry to raise capital for its programmes under the Nahda plan.

 

“The normal banking sector is not capable of financing these types of projects, Abou Zeid said.

 

“We are not thinking of Islamic banks. Islamic banks are cosmetics of conventional banking. We are speaking of Islamic private equity funds, Islamic infrastructure funds, Islamic agriculture funds, Islamic venture capital funds.”

 

Abou Zeid said these would help the Brotherhood attract fresh money to the country.

 

“There has been $200 billion in investments inEgyptin the last five years. We will have to at least double that, or at least a 50 percent increase.”

 

The government would direct these to a series of development projects, including many aimed at raising living standards in poorer parts of the country, the Brotherhood has said.



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